Disaster Girl has sold her viral meme for $500,000
Although you might not remember Zoë Roth by her name, you would have probably seen her in the legendary meme that came to be known as "Disaster Girl".
On April 17, Roth made around $500,000 when she sold the meme as a non-fungible token (NFT) at an auction. However, she retains the copyright to the image and will receive 10 percent of future sales.
Image was shot by Roth's father during a controlled fire
The iconic image was captured in 2005 when Roth and her neighbors watched local firefighters manage a controlled fire.
The picture was snapped by Roth's father and amateur photographer David Roth. He entered the image in a photo contest in 2007 and won.
The image soon transformed into an internet meme repurposing it to represent the female equivalent of Damien from The Omen films.
Disaster Girl meme was auctioned off as an NFT
Now aged 21, Zoë Roth sold the image via a dedicated auction site called Foundation to a user identified as 3FMusic. The image was sold as an NFT, exactly how Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently sold his first tweet for $3 million.
An NFT is a blockchain-based token that represents a unique digital entity. NFTs can be traded but they aren't interchangeable like currency.
This isn't the first meme to sell as an NFT
Roth said that while people in memes go viral all the time, she's amazed by how the internet held on to the Disaster Girl picture and kept it viral and relevant.
She added that she is grateful for the experience.
Creators of memes could earn a lot via NFT sales
Roth received 180 Ether, a cryptocurrency, as payment for the image. Ben Lashes manages the Roths and creators of other famous memes including Nyan Cat, Doge, and Success Kid. He claims that his clients have cumulatively made over $2 million via NFT sales.
Roth will use money to donate, pay off student loans
Roth is in her senior year at the University of North Carolina studying peace, war, and defense. She intends to pay off her student loans and donate to charities using the sale proceeds.
She said that she hopes to do something meaningful enough to shift Disaster Girl to the second page of search results for her name.